experiencing god

In all my years as a teen and young adult, I babysat exactly once.

I remember the kids got mad at me because I didn’t cook their mac and cheese right. Then they told me I was playing Barbies wrong, and by the time their mom came through those doors, I couldn’t wait to never do that again.

A little over 10 years later, my husband and I brought our first child into the world, a colicky but adorable baby boy. I waited for all the warm fuzzy feelings to start flowing – the ones you see in the movies and read about in magazines.

But instead, it was sleepless nights, breastfeeding trauma, lots of baby gas, and for me, intense postpartum depression.

“I’m not enjoying this,” I remember telling myself, over and over. And the more I admitted that fact, well… the less I enjoyed it! 

It felt too hard to be a mom. Every day was mustering more strength to get through another day of keeping this human being alive and happy. And then we had my daughter.

A source of joy

My parents named me Abigail because in the Hebrew it means “the Fathers joy” or “to rejoice.” And there have been times in life where I’ve definitely lived up to that name. But motherhood has taken me into a whole other realm of learning what it means to find a different kind of joy. 

The joy of the lord.

“This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength”

Nehemiah 8:10

I think so many of us look for joy in our community of friends, our spouse, our hobbies and our social media feeds. And while none of those things are wrong, none of those things are the THING.

Real lasting, incomparable, can’t keep quiet joy comes from God and God alone.

For me, regular exercise, some counseling, a supportive husband and good friends helped me refocus on what matters most so I could feel my best again and be the best for my little people. 

If you’re a mom who feels like you’re often not enjoying the journey, you are not alone. Remember God is in it with you.

He has joy to offer that’s not tied to any relationship, situation or how many hours of sleep you got last night. He is the Prince of Peace.

He offers peace, rest and all the joy when we ask for it. He is the God of help. And when we get intentional about finding joy in our lives, He will help us to open our eyes and see it… right there all along. 

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 16:11